New installations for the 2017-2018 Leadership of the Mesquite Elks Lodge #2811 included, from left to right, Valerie Todd as Leading Knight, Harold Straley as Exalted Ruler, Jeff Robertson as Loyal Knight and Glen Burton as Lecturing Knight. Photo by Stephanie Clark.

It took 18 long years, but after helping create the Mesquite Elks Lodge #2811, Harold Straley has been named Exalted Ruler for 2017-2018 during the annual installation ceremony on March 25. Straley brought the Elks to Mesquite in 1999 with a small membership. Today the Elks have nearly 500 members.

“I hope to bring about some more harmony among the members,” Straley said. “I also plan on getting more of the Past Exalted Rulers and members involved in our functions. Good things come from teamwork and we have some of the best members any organization could ask for. With a little bit of work, we can do great things.”

Outgoing Exalted Ruler Bill Oskin gave an outgoing message that the year went by too fast. “It was a good year,” he said, “but it went by too fast. We did a lot of good things and kept moving forward. I am excited to see us continuing that path under Harold’s leadership.”

Straley gave his induction speech with gratitude to Oskin and to the other members, asking a commitment from each of the officers to work with various committee chairmen in increasing the lodge’s community involvement with events, working with the youth and veterans.

Representatives from other lodges throughout the state of Nevada were also in attendance, including Pahrump, Boulder City, Green Valley/Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.

Other main officers installed included Valerie Todd to Leading Knight, Jeff Robertson to Loyal Knight and Glen Burton to Lecturing Knight.